I moved!!

Sorry to say, but I am moving onto Tumblr, as it is easier for me to navigate!

I want to thank every single one of my followers and I hope you join me on tumblr!

 

Here’s the link to this summer’s list:

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/summer-doings

 

Love you all. Thanks again!

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Happy Spring!!

Hi everyone,

I’m back for yet another year (my 9th!) of the infamous Summer Goals List! People have been asking me about this years list already – I love it! It’s also great to see lots of my friends are doing summer bucket lists of their own!

If I didn’t have a list, I’m sure I would just rot in my bedroom all summer watching Netflix. Posting and blogging about it helps me with accountability (because again, Netflix).

Last year was rough; while I did complete a lot of my goals, I did fail to blog about them. It’s true – DOING the goal is much more fun than blogging about it. But, I just spent a good amount of time rereading old posts of things I have done over the years and they’re nice to reflect on. So I’ll continue to post.

I’m not quite finished with my list for this summer, however, I will give you a sneak peek of what’s happening in Summer 2017!

7) See the Lion of Lucerne (Switzerland) 

Woo! See you in a few weeks with the finished list!!

Thanks,

Samantha

“Wiggle Your Big Toe”

#14: Find Uma Thurman’s old house

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I had heard a while ago that Uma Thurman is originally from right here in Amherst, Massachusetts. I remember hearing this and thinking about how cool it would be to see her old house. She’s always been one of my favorite actresses; Kill Bill Vol. 2 is my favorite movie of all time and everyone loves Pulp Fiction. Like, I think literally everyone.

When I moved here in January I was wondering whereabouts in Amherst she lived. North Amherst? South Amherst? Downtown? In the same building as I’m currently living in!? I had no idea. So I had to do some major research.

So I went to Google. I found that Uma was not born in this area but instead born in Boston. She did spend most of her youth in Amherst however, on account of her father Robert Thurman was a professor at Amherst College.

On the Amherst College website, it states that Uma and her family once lived in a building on campus called The Cooper House. Nick and I didn’t bother plugging it into a GPS. We just kind of drove around campus searching.

We found the Cooper House pretty easily on 86 College Street, close to the main strip. However, we noticed there were tons of people around and it would have been awkward to pull over, take a picture with a random house, and then drive away. We discovered soon after that it was alumni weekend at the college. So we decided to put it off.

We went back a few days ago when it was less busy and parked in a little lot down the street. We saw a Squirtle on the way. IMG_2123

And took some picture with the house/looked for Pokemon.

We tried to get into the building but it was locked. It is now the home of the Black Studies and Philosophy departments. You can read more about the house HERE!

Overall, this was a silly little goal I had but it was cool to see the place where one of my favorite people grew up. Check it out if you’re in the area and like Uma Thurman or Squirtles.

 

Thanks,

Samantha

Wine-ot?

#11: Go to a local winery

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I have been to wineries before. Many. They’ve all been in the Temecula Wine Countryside in California. Mount Palomar. Bel Vino, where my cousin Miriam used to work. Briar Rose, where my dear pal Chris works was my favorite, I think. All delicious, Californian wine. Ahhhh.

Facebook post after Facebook post recently shows cute girls with their cute boyfriends with cute wine glasses in their hands, posing cute-ly outside with a (cute?) mountain in the background. I kept wondering where these wineries were and why they were so adorable.  I love wine. I love local things. So I figured, wine-ot?

Almost as soon as I put this on my list, I forgot I had put it there. But, that could never mean that I forgot that I wanted to go to a winery! So when Grace and Alex invited me to Raven Hollow Winery in Westfield, I didn’t hesitate to say yes, but I didn’t think I was crossing something off my list.

Grace and Alex had been casually sipping apple wine when I arrived to their home and told me that Raven Hollow had many different kinds of fruit wine; Grace’s favorite being strawberry rhubarb. Alex packed snacks – cheese, crackers, jams, some meats. I was v. excited.

When we parked, I noticed a bunch of crows (or at least black birds). Maybe thats why they call it Raven Hollow. No clue. Anyhow, we went around to the back where a girl, Emily (?) in a little hut took our orders. Grace asked if this was on my summer goals list. It is not, I told her. We decided to try a little taste of everything. We each got the sampler (4 wines) and all shared together. We tried plum, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry, orange, pineapple. If I had remember I would later be “BLOGGING” about it, I would’ve kept better track. Maybe.

We then decided to get a bottle of strawberry rhubarb (our favorite) and have our snacks, while listening (and occasionally dancing) to a cute little acoustic cover duo with a looping machine, Surrogate Muse from Northampton.They were so friendly and really awesome musicians. We didn’t want them to stop.

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Alex, Grace, wine, and snacks

Loved, loved, loved this day. And this winery. I already have plans to go again soon. And even though I didn’t take a cute picture with a cute boy in front of a mountain, I still had an amazing time with my friends. And really that’s what summer is all about, right?

Thanks,

Samantha

“My only means of self defense is to wiggle my eye and feign being a salamander”

12. Find the salamander crossing in Amherst

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When I first moved to Amherst in January, I had asked my loyal Jazzercise customers (most of whom are Amherst residents) for interesting places around the area to check out. They had collectively given me a pretty long list, but “Salamander Crossing” really stood out to me. It was right up my salamander alley. Many of the customers knew that I had a pet salamander in my classroom, named President Jefferson (we were learning about the nickel the week we got him). I decided that after the school was over, I would put President Jefferson in the Salamander Crossing area so he could have a safe, happy life with his salamander brothers and sisters.

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President Jefferson 

I had read here that the Salamander Crossing was put in place because during every April hundreds of salamanders and toads were crossing the road to get from the wooded ponds to the springtime pools to get their freak on. Unfortunately, a lot were getting squashed by cars instead of getting busy. So, the good people of Amherst built an underground tunnel in 1987.

So I knew I wanted to check this out and put it on “my list”. The only problem was I had no idea where it was. Luckily, when I published this year’s list on Facebook, I received a comment from a co-worker and friend, Jenny, who told me exactly where and how to find this kinda-of secretive place. She told me it was on Henry Street in North Amherst. She also told me that “there are 2 tunnels with little holes on top, and there are little barriers that go up on either the hill to funnel them towards the tunnels”. I, very thankful for this insight, decided to check it out with Nick. We went at the end of May, so I had a feeling I wouldn’t see any salamanders, but I was still hopeful.

Nick and I plugged in “Henry Street” into the GPS and drove up and down it a few times looking for the “little barriers” and “funnels”. After a while, we thought we may have stopped them, and parked the car (totally legally). Then we explored.

For a bit, Nick and I weren’t even sure if we had found it, because we didn’t see any salamanders and the creeks were pretty dry. However, I showed Jenny my pictures and she did confirm that we had found the right place and told me that the best day to go is during the first rain of April when it’s about 40 degrees.

In any event, it was cool to check out a part of Amherst I don’t spend a ton of time in.

Sadly, a week before school ended, President Jefferson passed away. This post is dedicated to him and all the happiness he brought the first graders of Room 36. RIP LIL BUDDY.

Thanks,

Samantha

 

“Relish the White Hut Experience”

#15: Go to the one of the restaurants in Massachusetts I need to go to before I die (http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/massachusetts/restaurants-die-ma/)

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Happy Summer everyone! I’ve been slacking a bit on my list this year. Usually at this point in the summer I’ve done a few things. School ended for me on Tuesday, yesterday was reserved for sleeping, so here I am now. Sorry for the delay.

I found this website earlier this year, likely from someone posting it on Facebook. “14 Bucket List Massachusetts Restaurants”, or,

“14 Restaurants You Have To Visit In Massachusetts Before You Die”

When I clicked on it, I was shocked and appalled that I had never been to any of these restaurants, despite 2 of them being right across the bridge in Northampton. So, I decided one of my goals this summer was to go to at least one of these places. Being a foodie, this would be an easy one to do and alas, it is the first on my list I’ve completed. And – I actually completed it TWICE.

Mid-May, Nate, Miranda and I (all foodies) went to the Asparagus and Flower Heritage Festival in West Brookfield. Loving asparagus, we thought we’d check it out, even though it’s a known fact to all Pioneer Valley people that Hadley, MA really is the mecca of topnotch asparagus.

En route, we passed The Salem Cross Inn, in West Brookfield. We all pointed out how cute/nice it looked. When we arrived at the festival we saw that the Salem Cross Inn had a little booth (?) where they were selling asparagus-related snacks. After doing a run-though of the festival, we enjoyed some asparagus wrapped in prosciutto from the booth. Delicious, juicy, and felt somewhat healthy even though we all knew it wasn’t really. I didn’t realize at the time, but the Salem Cross Inn is actually #7 on the “14 Bucket List Massachusetts Restaurants”!! First item off the summer goal list – DONE.

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A few days (or weeks?) later, Nick and I checked out #8 on the list: White Hut in West Springfield. I loved the way this place looks on the outside. I felt like I’m in a different decade.

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Nick and I were confused at first at the ordering/check out procedures but the confusion was worth the food. I don’t eat burgers much or anything, but this was by far the best burger I had ever eaten.

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The first post of this summer (this one) is short and sweet (or savory). I’m just warming up. Plus, I just watched a hella weird movie and now I’m in a hella weird mood so I’ll stop now. Adios!

Thanks,

Samantha

THE List – 2016

Hi guys! Happy almost end of Spring. This will be my 8th year (whoa) (it could be the 9th year, I don’t know) doing my summer goal list! I’m a little late in creating it this year, usually it’s done by April. As usual, this is just a draft and I’ll be adding on as the summer goes on. This year my last day at work/school is also the first day of summer! How perfect. Here it is!

  1. Go to the Cryptology Museum (I’m such a loser about this kind of stuff. Didn’t realize it was in Maine!)
  2. Go out of the country (The plan is to go to Nova Scotia but I’ll be happy going anywhere in CA)
  3. Host a theme party (I’m thinking: The Kardashians)
  4. Teach a Jazzercise format I haven’t taught before
  5. Get to Inbox 0 (what a lame grown up goal but something that I’ve always wanted in life)
  6. Finish my Italian lessons
  7. Finally win a trivia night (This is in no way up to me. Again, something I’ve always wanted to do).
  8. Do a Pitbull Jazzercise routine to live Pitbull.
  9. Go to a museum with mama
  10. Go to the Clark Art Institute (finally)
  11. Go to a local winery
  12. Find the salamander crossing in Amherst (I’ve heard rumors. No idea where or what this is)
  13. Go to Emily Dickinson’s house and grave (Now that I live in Amherst, I think I NEED to do this)
  14. Find Uma Thurman’s old house (Again, another thing I should attempt to do as an Amherst resident)
  15. Go to the one of the restaurants in Massachusetts I need to go to before I die (http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/massachusetts/restaurants-die-ma/)
  16. Bike to Holyoke
  17. Go to the Dinosaur tracks in South Hadley
  18. Take a class of sorts (exercise, hobby, art, etc.)

 

That’s all I have for now! I’ll be adding.

Thanks,

Samantha